The province’s eight Catholic school boards are unanimously endorsing a move to appeal a recent court decision, known as the Theodore case.
The judge ruled the provincial government would no longer be allowed to allocate funding for non-Catholic students attending Catholic schools.
The Saskatchewan Catholic School Boards Association argues there were legal errors in finding the provincial government must discriminate on the basis of religion as it makes funding decisions.
The association’s past president Tom Fortosky said the ruling is inconsistent with decisions dating back nearly a century.
“These are, we think, well-founded legal principles, and if they’re given voice by the court of appeal, we think we have a very good chance of winning this case,” Fortosky said.
“The association’s view is that the trial judge was too narrow in his interpretation of separate school rights within the constitution. This is inconsistent with previous supreme court Canada decisions.”
There is also a difference of opinion on who is a Catholic student. The court ruling defines a Catholic student as someone who has a baptismal certificate.
Fortosky argues students should only need to self-declare as a member of the faith in order to attend a Catholic school.
“The judge very narrowly defined Catholics as being somebody as having a Catholic baptismal certificate,” Fortosky said. “You need to know that the Catholic Church actually recognizes baptismal certificates from other Christian denominations.”